Nintendo Labo

Nintendo’s been doing a lot right with their latest console (the Switch). It’s got a pretty compelling use case, and has become the go-to console for some really fantastic gaming experiences (looking at you, Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey). It also looks like they’ve managed to win over and embrace indie developers, as indicated by a steady stream of titles. I think one of the things they’re getting right (aside from building some amazing games themselves) is an appreciation for play and whimsy, as evidenced by their latest addition to the system: the Labo. Go watch the trailer:

I love pretty much everything about this idea.

Link: The Oral History of Halo

Vice has managed to put together an astounding oral history of the making of Halo, a seminal and iconic first person shooter that helped cement the success of the Xbox and (one of) the first to really master first person shooter controls on a console.

I’ve been a big fan of Bungie since the days of playing Marathon, and I’m excited to do with their next project, Destiny 2.

Toxic Communities: Behavior vs People

Toxic Behavior in League of Legends: A nice summary of some of the research coming out of Riot Games about toxic behavior in gaming communities, over at Nelson’s Weblog. You should really go read it (and watch the talk it’s based on), but the quick takeaway is: most toxic behavior comes from people who are usually upstanding community members but end up having a “bad day.” As Andy Baio points out, the solution for toxicity in your community isn’t (always) banning, but rather having moderators and community managers available to intervene and check in on users when toxic behavior first starts manifesting. (This mirrors my own observations doing community management work — the people acting out are rarely bad people, and the more you can treat them like humans having a bad day, the more you can smooth out toxic behavior before it becomes overwhelming.)